Union University felt like the school I was supposed to attend. The problem: I had no clue how I was going to get there. Tuition was way too much for my family, and my test scores were not high enough to apply for academic scholarships. I almost gave up, but decided to take the ACT one more time, a few months into IMPACT 360. The test seemed so much easier than it was in the past, but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up before I received the scores. I needed a 31 to apply for scholarships, and I was blown away when I got the letter. A 32 overall score, with a 35 in the reading subsection – one question from perfect! I was nowhere near those scores before IMPACT, and knew all of the reading and critical thinking had really made a difference.
I applied and was accepted to the scholarship competition. Over 160 students were competing for just a handful of scholarships, ranging from 50% to 100% tuition; the grand scholarship including room and board. I had three different interviews to prepare for: One was a group interview about a “hot topic,” another was based on a book they sent us, and the final was a personal interview with three professors.
I began to read the book and was astounded. Each chapter correlated with a module we had been taught at IMPACT 360, so I had a full and comprehensive knowledge of all of the major topics presented. When I walked into the interview and saw the word ‘postmodernism’ written on the whiteboard in block letters, I was overjoyed. We had spent a good portion of the first semester at IMPACT talking specifically about this topic, and I was able to take the different aspects of postmodernism to the next level and apply what I had learned with confidence.
Next was the individual interview. One of the first things they asked me to do was describe myself. We had taken and discussed StrengthFinders in class the week before, creating a personal branding statement based off the results. I gave this to the interviewers, along with details I had learned about myself during my time at IMPACT 360.
The last interview was a little harder. The interviewer picked the topic when we entered the room, so there was no time for preparation. We ended up talking about bioethics, and even though we had not yet gone through the topic at IMPACT, I used what I had learned through wrap-up, and the biblical knowledge gained this year, to formulate an opinion and hold my end of the group conversation.
A few weeks later I received a call from Union University. They were pleased to inform me that I had received the full tuition scholarship! All I would have to pay for school was room and board. I was overwhelmed with joy – God had heard and answered my prayers.
I also applied to the Honor’s program, where questions like ‘What is beauty?’ and ‘What is wisdom’ are studied through interdisciplinary study. I was soon after accepted to this program as well.
I had prayed constantly during the scholarship interview weekend, and the honors application process, for my words to be God’s words and my thoughts to be God’s thoughts. Looking back, I can see that God was preparing me all throughout this year at IMPACT, displaying His thoughts and words through scripture reading, devotions, class lectures, and wrap-up debates. He taught me how to focus on Him, and how to view the world. IMPACT 360 is the medium God chose to work through my life, and prepare a way for my future.